La Sera - Break My Heart

Sic Alps - Glyphs

This is Pop Download-o-rama

Thursday, December 31, 2009

PLAYLIST 29 - This Will Be Our Year

Call me sentimental but doesn't ringing in the new year kinda warrant a carefully executed playlist?  I thought so too. (Not to mention what self respecting blogger leaves his blog posting total at 199 for the year?)

Happy New Year Everything is Pop readers everywhere!

Felix Sit Annus Novus! Side

1. All The Years - Beach House
2. Last Year - Akron/ Family
3. Years (By One Thousand Fingertips) - Attack in Black
4. Odun De! Odun De! (Happy New Year) - Babatunde Olatunji
5. Chinese New Year - The Heliocentrics and Mulatu Astatke
6. The Driving Of The Year Nail - Leo Kottke
7. 100 Years - Ganglians
8. You In Forty Years - High Places
9. One Year (Four Tet Remix) - His Name Is Alive
10. Last Years Rain Didn't Fall Quite So Hard - The Twilight Sad
11. Funny Time Of Year - Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man
12. One Million Years Ago - Broadcast & The Focus Group
13. A Year In A Minute - Christian Fennesz
14. In Between The Years - Ulrich Schnauss
15. New Year's Eve - The Knife
16. Fall of Another Year - CAN
17. Year 2000... - Mogwai
18. In The New Year - The Walkmen
19. Four Long Years - Wire
20. Twenty Years Ago - Magazine
21. Hard Hard Year - Messengers

Bonne Année Side

1. Dirty Harry (Chinese New Year Remix) - Gorillaz
2. This Will Be Our Year - The Zombies
3. One Hundred Years From Now - The Byrds
4. Maybe In Another Year - Jennie Pearl
5. 23 Years Ago - Paul Westerberg
6. 31 Years - Elliott Brood
7. What Are Years? - Christine Fellows
8. Five Years - David Bowie
9. Five Years - Seu Jorge
10. This Year's Girl - Elvis Costello
11. First Year Blues [Overdubbed Non-Session Demo] - Hank Williams
12. Shrine To The Dynamic Years - Guided By Voices
13. My Year In Lists - Los Campesinos!
14. Rest Of Years (demo) - The National
15. New Years - Ohbijou
16. The New Year - Death Cab For Cutie
17. Each Year - Ra Ra Riot
18. Human of the Year - Regina Spektor
19. My Favourite Year - Destroyer
20. This Year - The Mountain Goats
21. One Hundred Million Years - M. Ward

John Cale to Perform Paris 1919 Again

You might recall my posting concerning the reformation of the Velvet Underground in New York late last year for an interview with journalist David Fricke. Missing from that historic session though was John Cale, best known as the Velvet Underground's premier sonic experimentalist and viola player. To be certain Cale added an element to the band's first two albums that would sadly be missing in their work that followed.
After the leaving the Velvets much of Cale’s solo work was comparatively accessible, and never more so than on his classic 1973's offering, Paris 1919. A sweeping orchestral album that to this day remains powerfully influential.(Owen Pallett has been even covered the album’s title cut). It was recorded with backing from the UCLA Orchestra, as well as the American folk rock outfit Little Feat.

News this week that John Cale will recreate Paris 1919 in its entirety with a live performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England on March 5th, 2010. Cale will perform the album with the Heritage Orchestra; (there's no word on whom, if anyone, will perform Little Feat's parts.) Cale held a similar concert in Wales (his homeland) this past November, performing Paris 1919 at the Cardiff Coal Exchange.

Cross your fingers, perhaps Mr. Cale will consider bringing this one across the pond. Paris 1919 is a record that should definitely be a part of every music fans collection, I highly recommend you seek this one out.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vic Chesnutt Has Died

Sad news today from Athens Georgia today…

Vic Chesnutt's
record label, Constellation Records, has released a statement confirming that the 45-year-old singer-songwriter has died. "Surrounded by family and friends, Vic Chesnutt died in Athens Georgia this afternoon, Friday December 25 at 14:59," the statement reads. "In the few short years that we knew him personally, Vic transformed our sense of what true character, grace and determination are all about. Our grief is inexpressible and Vic's absence unfathomable. We will make more information available according to the wishes of Vic's family and friends."

There's widespread speculation on the Web, but no confirmation, that Chesnutt committed suicide. "We have no comment right now on the specifics other than that his doctors are continuing to assess his condition," Constellation Records co-owner Don Wilkie wrote Thursday, while Chesnutt was in a coma. "We will issue a full statement at an appropriate time. In the interim, we request that everybody respect Vic's privacy and that of his family."

Chesnutt waged a very long and public battle with inner demons since before the release his first solo album Little (produced by Michael Stipe) in 1990. After becoming confined to a wheelchair at age 18 following a car accident, he publicly struggled with depression, anxiety and substance abuse.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the musician faced nearly $70,000 in hospital bills, a subject he brought up in an interview earlier this month. From the interview:

I was making payments, but I can't anymore and I really have no idea what I'm going to do. It seems absurd they can charge this much. When I think about all this, it gets me so furious. I could die tomorrow because of other operations I need that I can't afford. I could die any day now, but I don't want to pay them another nickel.
Despite these huge adversities Chesnutt did maintain an extraordinarily prolific career, releasing more than a dozen albums as a solo artist and many more while collaborating with other musicians, including Widespread Panic and Lambchop. Chesnutt released two albums in 2009, At the Cut and Skitter on Take Off.

Friends of the musician have set up a tribute page to Chesnutt, where fans are encouraged to donate money to his family to help them fulfill the singer-songwriter's medical debt.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Everything is Pop – Best Music of 2009

Another year of music has come and so the list making begins. Thus I compose my official Everything is Pop register of the top twenty five albums of 2009. My selections are based on carefully considered variables that range from subjective intuition, repetitive plays, creativity, favour and most importantly, originality.

I did not have a great deal of difficulty in preparing this list as it seems to begin to manifest itself in my psyche by early September. This year in song has been an exceptional one marked by a number of new discoveries and older stand-bys alike. Perhaps it was the transitional nature of the music industry this year that somehow inspired musicians of every genre to stretch creative, artistic and even marketing limits to entirely new heights. “Stellar” would be the term that seems to come to mind to summarize the year in song 2009. And with that statement, the list begins…

1. The Antlers – Hospice [French Kiss] No other record came close to affecting me as much as this Brooklyn trio’s deeply moving disc did this year. Originally conceived as a solo record by front man Peter Silberman this “concept album” about personal loss packs a powerful wallop even after numerous listens. Hospices songs are derived from Silberman’s personal stories that touch on mental illness, cancer and death. These are not easy listening by any stretch and yet their universal and soulful impact is what sets them apart from others this year. Yes this is heartbreaking (at times) and difficult but it also possesses a universal beauty that makes it unforgettable. A record that will stick with you long after it leaves the player.

Favourite songs – Kettering, Two

2. Cass McCombs
- Catacombs [Domino]

Cass McCombs has always been a bit of an enigma for me and with this his fifth LP the artistic fog for this listener is beginning to lift. Catacombs is considered to be more accessible than previous efforts and I really must concur. This time out McCombs has delivered his most creatively consistent and artistically strong record yet. This is a fine release with a disposition that will please everyone. Definitely an artist to watch. Cass McCombs is only getting better.

Favourite songs – Dreams Come True Girl, You Saved My Life

3. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest [Warp]

Admittedly my first listen of Grizzly Bear’s 2009 release was a bit of a disappointment, despite the fact that a couple songs could be considered the best of their career. My second listening experience was a much better one due in large part to the fact that I was listening to the record on a full stereo system. It literally brought the music to life. Ear buds regretfully just do not do this record justice. (Akin to seeing a movie in a theatre and not a portable DVD player.)

Veckatimest is a remarkably fresh sounding record that provided an essential soundtrack to my summer music listening. It also represents marked growth for a band that seems to generate fan interest with every turn. Grizzly Bear are highly astute at achieving the right balance of mystery and melody within their song craft. Songs like “Two Weeks” and “Southern Point” underscore this ability. Both songs remain two of the catchiest songs I have heard this year.

Favourite Songs – Ready, Able, Two Weeks, Southern Point

4. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca [Domino]

When Dirty Projector’s appeared on the Late Show earlier this year it was as if the audience was hit with the business end of a garden hose at the end of their performance. Not that it was a poor presentation by any stretch of the imagination, but rather, the audience just didn’t know what to make of them. Their polyrhythmic song structures and jagged harmonies were very different from anything many in the crowd had heard before. The sound was quite foreign and entirely unique- the very qualities that forced me to explore this band in the first place. Dirty Projectors distinguish themselves this way and it makes their music unforgettable. There is no way you can confuse them with any other band and that is what I love about them.

This is definitely not music for the masses. Do understand though Bitte Orca is very much worth your time and exploration of this band will yield great results. Seek out their collaboration with David Byrne on Dark Was the Night that came out this year as well. Truly, one of the best songs they have ever done.

Favourite songs – Stillness Is the Move, Temecula Sunrise, Knotty Pine

5. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion [Domino]

What self respecting blogger could not include this the latest LP release from Brooklyn’s Animal Collective? Yes, the hyperbole may be great but in this case it really is deserved. Like Radiohead, Animal Collective is one of the most important bands on the planet making music today. Merriweather Post Pavillion is a brilliant testimony to the greatness this band is capable of. Bold, focused and quite unlike anything else out there. Animal Collective continue to break the rules and garner new fans every time they do so. This is a brilliantly inventive release.

Favourite Song – Summertime Clothes

6. Atlas Sound - Logos [4AD]

Bradford Cox is quickly establishing himself as the blogger generation’s Robert Pollard. Whereas the latter was heavily influenced by the music of The Who and the Beatles, Cox is more partial to the music and influence of Brian Wilson and Stereolab. The results on this latest endeavour partly a sweet slab of pure pop music and rocking freakout. In all likelihood this would not have emerged under the Deerhunter monicker which makes it an absolutely wonderful surprise. Again, this record distinguishes itself because it is so very different- Just not so different than the sweet pop at its core. Terrific.

Favourite song – Quick Canal

7. Broadcast and the Focus Group – Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age (Warp)

For nearly a decade now I have enjoyed the fractured pop stylings of Broadcast. Their icy cool European exterior most enticing. I have always considered them to be a friendlier version of Portishead because of their extensive use of samples found sound audio snippets and unconventional instrumentation. This time out, Broadcast collaborate with the Focus Group to extend their intoxicating sound and indulge some new directions. The results are stunning with the latter providing skittering background accompaniment to great effect.

Favourite song – The Be Colony

8. Pink Moth – The Wild (Independent)

A relatively new discovery that floored me from the first listen. Torontonian, Ray Cammaert has created something that is gorgeous and so very intoxicating. In what feels like familiar landscape the listener is drawn into Cammaert’s gauzy view and it couldn’t be more compelling. A special record that reveals new elements with every listen. If ever there was a recording that begs to be released on heavy weight vinyl, this would be it. A rare treat for the senses, this one is exceptional.

Favourite song – Carnival Girl

9. Bibio – Ambivalence Avenue (Warp)

Experimental electronic artist Bibio may be responsible for the most pleasant musical surprise for me this year. Picking this one up on a whim based on the fact it was on The Warp Records imprint was one of the best new discoveries I would make this past summer. Ambivalence Avenue combines elements of electronica, and hip hop (with a folky twist); this one works in spite of its seemingly conflicting intentions. Bibio has created something unique and highly listenable.

Favourite song – Haikueseque (When She Laughs)

10. Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle (Drag City)

Sepia toned reflections on life and nature are a winning combination for the more than slightly winsome Callahan. His song, All Thoughts are Prey to Some Beast may be the most beautiful song of the year and is a definite career highlight. Richly imagistic with sublime instrumentation to match this one is a pure classic.

Favourite songs - All Thoughts are Prey to Some Beast, Faith Void

The Brilliance Continues

11. Calfone - Funeral Singers
12. Tinariwen - Imidiwn: Companions
13. Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light
14. A Horse and His Boy - A Horse and His Boy
15. Rural Alberta Advantage - Hometowns
16. The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come
17. Yo La Tengo- Popular Song
18. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
19. The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
20. Wilco - Wilco (The  Album)
21. Andrew Bird - Noble Beast
22. St. Vincent- Actor
23. The National- Dark Was the Night
24. Modest Mouse- No One's First and You're Next
25. Alela Diane  - To Be Still

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Most Exciting News Ever in the History of Man

It’s time to wake up Grandpa dear readers, the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame has selected its inductees for the class of 2010. In a list that would flummox even the most ardent mix-tape maker The Stooges, ABBA, Jimmy Cliff, Genesis, and the Hollies were chosen to make it to the shrine. Perhaps even more interesting though are the nominees that didn't make the cut. The list included: Kiss, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donna Summer, and Darlene Love. (Now that would have made a performance! ed.)

Music impressario David Geffen and songwriters Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman and Otis Blackwell were also inducted in non-performing categories.

From Rolling Stone, Iggy Pop said:
"We've been rejected seven times, and we would have set a record, I think, if it happened again. It started to feel like Charlie Brown and the football. I had about two hours of a strong emotional reaction after hearing the news. It felt like vindication. Then I kind of scratched my head and thought, 'Am I still cool? Or is that over now?'"
The induction ceremony takes place March 15th at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.  Let's hope Abba and the Stooges make good on that oft-promised collaboration.  "I Wanna Be Your Dancing Queen" anyone?

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Think I Smell a Deluxe Edition

In 2007, the White Stripes toured across every province and territory in Canada. Along the way playing one off shows in unusual places and venues that ranged From a performance on a bus in Winnipeg to playing the Arva Flour Mill (just outside of London) to playing an infamous one note concert in St. John’s. The trek garnered a lot of well earned attention for the duo and also managed to please a whole lot of Canadians. This humble blogger included.

Luckily, the whole tour was captured in the film Under the Great White Northern Lights. If you weren’t lucky enough to take it in at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year, you’ll be happy to know that the DVD will be available in March 2010. See an image gallery from the film here.

The DVD will come in a number of formats, most notably in a handsome deluxe, limited-edition box set. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one of these, it will include the film on DVD, a DVD of the White Stripes’ tenth anniversary celebration called Under Nova Scotian Lights, a live seven-inch, a 16-track live album on both vinyl and CD, a silk-screen print and a lovely 208-page photo book with a forward by Jim Jarmusch.

The deluxe box set will be available for pre-order here today (December 11th). As well, if it’s pre-ordered before January 1st, fans will also receive three MP3s and a holiday card from the band as a bonus incentive.

The DVD and live album will also be available on their own on March 16th, with the book coming out in April.

(Your point of trivia for the day… The set list for that one note show in St. John’s?)

1) F

I love you, White Stripes!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

“Success has always been the worst of liars”

Friedrich Nietzsche never heard the music of this band but I remember the first time I heard the music of Liars. A preview track on Wire Magazine’s always fantastic Wiretapper Compilation opened a breathtaking, albeit noisy new world to me. As impressed as I was with this amazing debut, their next record, Drums Not Dead blew my mind. I wasn’t the only one and it provided considerable proof this band was a force to reckon with. Not surprising then, there has been considerable excitement building for the New York band’s forthcoming Sisterworld release. Scheduled for release in early 2010, the inscrutable trio have released three short videos (each accompanied by seemingly teaser snippets from the album.) Today the teasing ends and a more substantial offering is being made via the same website in the form of an free MP3, titled “Scissor.”

“Scissor” is set to be the first song on the new album, and if it is any indication, the band is set to explore some new and interesting musical territory. Could the sturm and drang be behind them? Replaced instead with ambience and fragility… I didn’ think so either. As always with Liars one must expect the unexpected. Who know what 'lies' in store for us in the coming months.

But for now, enjoy this free download.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Best Music Discoveries 2009 – Pink Moth - The Wild

As most music lovers will attest, there is some very practical magic at work when it comes to the discovery of new music. That is one of its beguiling charms and most likely why it manages to touch my soul every so often. Like discovering a great painting or a wonderful piece of literature the effect is both highly rewarding and hopefully enduring.

Ten days ago, the offer to preview and listen to a band that I was only vaguely familiar with arrived in my inbox. A quick email exchange followed and a few days later a carefully packaged CD arrived in my mailbox. I opened it that night and I was pleasantly surprised, first by the artwork, (always a good sign and so often the gateway to me picking up a disc in the first place); But it was the second revelation, the discovery of the most remarkable music that virtually floored me as I listened on an evening walk.

The CD that I was listening to (then and now actually as I write) was the latest release by Toronto band Pink Moth called The Wild. Just from the opening seconds of the CD, I knew it would be something special. I was immediately drawn to its innocent charms and little fragilities because it took me to a different place immediately. Listening to this disc was like discovering your grandparent’s dusty attic. All muted tones, elegance, dusty records and displaced photographs. It felt like a different time and place. Each song a little smile inducing treasure. At times familiar, others times distant.

When some bands use pure sound volume to imbibe power to their songcraft, Pink Moth go the opposite route with a sparse fragility that is equally powerful. The band’s Myspace page features a host of influences from Neutral Milk Hotel to Alan Lomax to Guided by Voices and goes a long way in explaining their appeal to me. This is the kind of disc that forces you to listen to it in its entirety and not one song at a time. You want to keep the story going- To bring that sunlit attic to new life. (You can go to the band’s site to hear some of these songs for yourself, but I recommend tracking down this most wonderful disc.)

Pink Moth is a relatively new project centered on its main creative force, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ray Cammaert. Originally from London, Ontario, Cammaert was previously a member of Maps of the Night Sky with whom he recorded and toured extensively. Pink Moth followed with Cammaert at the helm for the Wild. Recorded at the band's own Tinshop Studios and mixed by Londoner Andy Magoffin (Two Minute Miracles, Great Lake Swimmers and Constantines) at the House of Miracles studio. Cammaert and longtime partner, illustrator Willow Dawson, were the primary musicians on the album, while Michael McGuffin, Mika Posen (Forest City Lovers), and Joan Watson all helped shape its unique sound. Pink Moth's debut full-length, The Wild, was released September 8th, 2009.

Pink Moth Lineup

Ray Cammaert Vocal, Guitar, Piano, Organ
Willow Dawson Saw, Vocal, Synth
Michael McGuffin Keyboards, Violin
Adrian Ellis Bass, Guitar
Andy Magoffin Drums

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Somewhere Walter Ostanek is Crying

52nd Grammy Nominees Announced - Beyonce Leads the Pack

As holiday season approaches, award show season surely can not be far behind…. Yes Virginia, music awards shows may come and go, but the Grammys remain The Oscars of the music industry representing the full music spectrum from classical, country and gospel to rock, rap and reggae. Mind you, they did drop the Best Polka Album category thus forever altering music fandom and possibly the universe as we know it.

One Sad Walter Ostanek aside, this year's nominees were announced during a primetime broadcast last night, Dubbed, "Grammy Nominations Concert Live: Countdown to Music's Biggest Night" aired live on CBS from Los Angeles' Club Nokia Theater.

The 1-hour special, hosted by LL Cool J, announced Grammy nominations in several categories and the world premiere performance of Nick Jonas & the Administration, as well as appearances by Black Eyed Peas, country stars Sugarland and R&B singer Maxwell. (Yes, yes I know the “moose cup boners” must have abounded!)

Watch for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards to air on Sunday, January 31, 2010 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, broadcast live on CBS at 8 P.M ET/PT.

Visit the Official Grammy Website for the Full List

2010 Grammy Award Nominees

Album of the Year

Beyoncé – I Am… Sasha Fierce
Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.
Lady Gaga – The Fame
Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
Taylor Swift – Fearless

Record of the Year

Beyoncé – “Halo”
Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody”
Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Song of the Year

Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
Maxwell – “Pretty Wings”
Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody”
Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
Bon Jovi – “We Weren’t Born to Follow”
The Fray – “Never Say Never”
Daryl Hall & John Oates – “Sara Smile”
MGMT – “Kids”

Best Rap Solo Performance

Drake – “Best I Ever Had”
Eminem – “Beautiful”
Jay-Z – “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)”
Kid Cudi – “Day ‘N’ Nite”
Mos Def – “Casa Bey”

Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Brooks & Dunn - “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
Zac Brown Band - “Chicken Fried”
Lady Antebellum - “I Run To You”
Rascal Flatts - “Here Comes Goodbye"
Sugarland - “It Happens”

Best Rock Album

AC/DC – Black Ice
Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood – Live From Madison Square Garden
Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown
Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
U2 – No Line on the Horizon

Best New Artist

Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Adele – “Hometown Glory”
Beyoncé – “Halo”
Katy Perry – “Hot N Cold”
Pink – “Sober”
Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

John Legend – “This Time”
Maxwell – “Love You”
Jason Mraz – “Make It Mine”
Seal – “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”
Stevie Wonder – “All About the Love Again”

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals

Rosanne Cash & Bruce Springsteen – “Sea of Heartbreak”
Ciara & Justin Timberlake – “Love Sex Magic”
Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat – “Lucky”
Willie Nelson & Norah Jones – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Taylor Swift & Colbie Caillat – “Breathe”

Best Pop Vocal Album

Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.
Colbie Caillat – Breakthrough
Kelly Clarkson – All I Ever Wanted
The Fray – The Fray
Pink – Funhouse

Best Dance Recording

Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow”
David Guetta & Kelly Rowland – “When Love Takes Over”
Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
Madonna – “Celebration”
Britney Spears – “Womanizer”

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
Melanie Fiona – “It Kills Me”
Lalah Hathaway – “That Was Then”
Ledisi – “Goin’ Thru Changes”
Jazmine Sullivan – “Lions, Tigers & Bears”

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance

Anthony Hamilton – “The Point of It All”
Maxwell – “Pretty Wings”
Musiq Soulchild – “Sobeautiful”
Pleasure P – “Under”
Charlie Wilson – “There Goes My Baby”

Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

Jamie Foxx & T-Pain – “Blame It”
India.Arie & Musiq Soulchild – “Chocolate High”
Musiq Soulchild & Mary J. Blige – “Ifuleave”
Robert Randolph & The Clark Sisters – “Higher Ground”
Calvin Richardson & Ann Nesby – “Love Has Finally Come At Last”

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance

Beyoncé – “At Last”
Anthony Hamilton – “Soul Music”
Boney James & Quinn – “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight”
Ann Nesby – “Sow Love”
Calvin Richardson – “Woman Gotta Have It”

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pink Lips and White Dwarfs

As we approach the holiday season and our calendars begin to fill with lavish soirees and wistful thoughts of ringing the new year in in style, news today that might just be worth a trip to Oklahoma. According to a poster on the band’s website the Flaming Lips will be ushering in the new year with a performance of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon at Oklahoma City’s Cox Center. The band will be joined by Wayne Coyne’s nephew’s (Dennis Coyne) band Stardeath and White Dwarfs.

You might recall a previous post about the Flaming Lips recently rerecorded, complete Dark Side in the studio with the band hopes of unveiling their take as an iTunes only release. The album, which reportedly features cameos by Henry Rollins and Peaches, is again a collaborative effort with Stardeath and White DwarfsStardeath also opened for the mighty Lips at their last two New Year’s Eve shows.

So if you haven’t made plans yet, this might just the New Years Eve party of the decade.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Stuck on Repeat Volume I - Tinariwen

Do you ever have a song that gets stuck in repeat n your head?  Well I have an entire album firmly entrenched there.  Tinariwen, the 'guitar-poets' from Southern Sahara have created something highly original and extraordinarily beautiful.  Quite possibly unlike anything you will have heard today.

Careful when you listen though, it might just lodge itself firmly in your soul too.

TINARIWEN in series: Live At Other Music from Dig For Fire on Vimeo.

Ted Leo Gets Brutal

Matador Records announced in September that Brooklyn rocker Ted Leo and his band the Pharmacists had signed to the label and a new release would be forthcoming. News today, that the new record from Leo will be released early in the new year. The LP is titled The Brutalist Bricks and will be out on March 9th. It was recorded in Brooklyn's Seaside Lounge, and is the band's first full length release since 2007's Living with the Living ,and their sixth overall.

From the Matador Website:
‘Bricks’ could be the most confident, kinetic and varied work in Ted’s canon, and considering his body of work until now, that’s no easy claim to make.”
You can hear and download a sampling of the record now here, in the form of lead single "Even Heroes Have to Die".  If you’re a fan of Leo you won’t be disappointed with this one.

In addition to the new album, Ted Leo has announced a handful of tour dates, with and without the Pharmacists.

Tour Dates:

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Wed, Dec 2nd – Philadelphia PA – First Unitarian Church
Thu, Dec 3rd – Washington DC – The Black Cat
Sat, Dec 5th – Cambridge MA – Middle East
Sun, Dec 6th – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom (sold out)
Thurs, December 10 – Spain – Madrid – Primavera Club ‘09
Friday, December 11 – Spain – Barcelona – Primavera Club ‘09
Saturday, December 12 – Spain – Barcelona – Primavera Club ‘09

Ted Leo (solo)

Mon., December 14 – UK – Brighton – Engine Room (with Dillinger Four + Hard Skin)
Tues., December 15 – UK – Canterbury – Bramleys
Wed, December 16 – UK – London – Brixton Windmill
Thurs., December 17 – UK – Kingston – New Slang
Fri., December 18 – UK – London – Grosvenor (with Wat Tyler)

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Beat the Devil’s Tattoo

It’s been over a year since we’ve heard any new album release news for LA-based Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (B.R.M.C.) According to a recent update on the band’s website, the trio is set to release Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, on March 8th in the UK and Europe, and March 9th in North America. As well, the band is embarking on an extensive tour through North America and Europe beginning February 26th, 2010.

The tour will start in Sacramento and finish at New York City’s Webster Hall on April 8th. Pre-sale for all shows will start Wednesday, December 2nd including a show at Slim’s in their original hometown of San Francisco, CA on the day their album in released.

Tour dates as follows:  (Pencil in the 6th of March Allison!)

February 26 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s
February 27 Reno, NV Knitting Factory
February 28 Las Vegas, NV Wasted Space @ Hard Rock Hotel
March 2 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
March 4 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
March 5 Seattle, WA Showbox Market
March 6 Vancouver, B.C. Commodore
March 7 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
March 9 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
March 13 San Diego, CA House of Blues
March 14 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
March 18 Dallas, TX House of Blues
March 20 Houston, TX House of Blues
March 21 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
March 23 St. Louis, MO Pageant
March 24 Madison, WA High Noon
March 25 Chicago, IL Metro
March 26 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
March 27 Minneapolis, MN First Ave.
March 30 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
March 31 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
April 1 Toronto, ONT Phoenix
April 2 Montreal, QC La Tulipe
April 3 Boston, MA House of Blues
April 5 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
April 7 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
April 8 New York, NY Webster Hall

"We Make a Living by What We Get, but We Make a Life by What We Give"

I don't think Winston Churchill was thinking of pop musicians when he made the aformentioned declaration.  I'll bet he would be impressed with this guy though-  Between his duties in the on again, off again Blur and several other projects (like last years spectacular Monkey); the terminally busy Damon Albarn is also hard at work on the next Gorillaz album. Dubbed Plastic Beach, the LP is set to feature Mos Def, Lou Reed, and several others. The Syrian National Orchestra and The Horrors have also recorded parts for Albarn. They will appear on what Albarn called "the most pop record I've ever made," according to an interview with the Guardian. Considering his stellar output over the past few years it will certainly be curious to hear exactly where he plans on taking this album. Plastic Beach is scheduled for release later in 2010.

Gorillaz is the creation of Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. Their last album Demon Days was produced by Danger Mouse  and had guest spots from Roots Manuva, De La Soul and Shaun Ryder.

The new year will be a busy one for the prolific musician. January 2010 will also see the release of the Blur documentary, No Distance Left to Run. Albarn has also expressed interest in producing another the Good, the Bad, and the Queen album. And lastly, a collaborative "opera" with graphic novelist Alan Moore is in the works as well.

And you thought your schedule of late was chaotic...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Winter of Mixed Drinks On the Way

As if the first part of the 2010 new release calendar wasn’t all ready filled with high profile new music releases, Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit has returned, following 2008’s superb The Midnight Organ Fight, with plans to release its third full length record. Titled The Winter of Mixed Drinks early previews are indicating another knockout effort from these talented Scots.
From the Guardian Weekly Podcast

We’ve broadened our horizons sonically and it feels like a natural move forward,” explains lead singer Scott Hutchison. “Most importantly, it’s better than the last one. That’s all I wanted, really.” Again, as if that was even possible!”
The Winter of Mixed Drinks was produced by Peter Katis, at Tarquin Studios in Connecticut, and engineered by Stuart Hamilton at Castlesound Studios in Scotland. It also features a guest appearance from labelmate Hauschka, who provided the album’s string arrangements.The album is scheduled for release on March 1st in the U.K. (via FatCat Records).  A North American release date is still forthcoming. Until then, have a look (and listen) to the first single, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”.

Zooey Neews

This past summer She & Him’s M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel were busy working on the follow up to their terrific album Volume One, and in a recent interview with MTV, Deschanel has revealed that the album is in the completed and set for release in 2010.

“I have a new She & Him record coming out in the spring. It’s official. It’s done and being released in the spring. And we’re going to go on tour.”
Good music news to warm the heart a little on a cold and wet November night.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Your Weekly Download Lowdown

While many people know Brian Borcherdt for his work in the Polaris Prize nominated group Holy Fuck, he also has an entirely different artistic side that is equally stunning. Introspective and so very beautiful, his solo work is stuff to be treasured.

Lucky for us, Borcherdt has recently made available a number of solo recordings and at-home demos, entitled Torches (The Ward Colorado Demos). These intimate recordings have recently been released by Borcherdt and are available via the Hand Drawn Dracula label as a free digital download.

Brian Borcherdt - Torches (the Ward Colorado demos) (HDD004)
(Digital Release Date: November 17th 2009)

Side 2004/05

01. Crime Scenes
02. Worn Thin
03. Further
04. Connected/Disconnected
05. Follows
06. Vanishing Act
07. Lowhills
08. Tides
09. Torches

Side 2006

01. Preserver

02. Cold Wind Blowin'
03. Furnaces
04. Oh Oh Oh
05. Working For The Weakened
06. Steady Hands
07. Detention
08. Guide Home

Recorded in Toronto, coastal Yarmouth of Nova Scotia, and in the mountains near Ward, Colorado, Torches includes home demos and unfinished album attempts from 2004-2006. Personal and compelling material these recordings are very much worth your listening time. Highly recommended

Newcomers and fans can download the 17 tunes, written and recorded between 2004 and 2006, for free from Get them here.

Brian Borcherdt - While I Was Asleep from Hand Drawn Dracula on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

SXSW Showcasing Acts Announced

SXSW '10 has announced its first extensive list of showcasing acts. Some of the highlights on the list include: Apostle of Hustle, Deer Tick, Harlem, Hot Panda, Japandroids, the Mantles, Mountain Man, Timber Timbre, Warpaint, and over a hundred more. Check the preliminary list* below.

*Information may be subject to change*

Aa (Brooklyn NY)
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO (Osaka JAPAN)
A Classic Education (Bologna ITALY)
Alpha Rev (Austin TX)
Amaral (Madrid SPAIN)
And So I Watch You From Afar (Belfast IRELAND)
Apostle of Hustle (Toronto ON)
Arms (Brooklyn NY)
Ólöf Arnalds (Reykjavik ICELAND)
Art vs Science (Surry Hills NSW)
A Shoreline Dream (Denver CO)
Nicole Atkins and The Black Sea (Asbury Park NJ)

Autumn Owls (Dublin IRELAND)
Bare Wires (Oakland CA)
Julian Berntzen (Bergen NORWAY)
Best Fwends (Austin TX)
The Black (Austin TX)
The Black Atlantic (Groningen THE NETHERLANDS)
Dan Black (Paris FRANCE)
Black Tide (Miami FL)
Bliss N Eso (Albert Park VIC)
Boom Boom Satellites (JAPAN)
The Boxer Rebellion (London UK-ENGLAND)
Break of Reality (New York NY)
B-Real of Cypress Hill (Los Angeles CA)
Broadway Calls (Rainer OR)
Broken Records (Edinburgh UK-SCOTLAND)
The Brunettes (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Buckshot (Brooklyn NY)
Canja Rave (Porto Alegre BRAZIL)
Capsula (Bilbao SPAIN)
Carsick Cars (Beijing CHINA)
Caucus (Tokyo JAPAN)
The Chevelles (Melville WA)
Chew Lips (London UK-ENGLAND)
Suzanna Choffel (Austin TX)
Chris T-T (Brighton UK-ENGLAND)
The Coathangers (Atlanta GA)
Simon Collins (Victoria BC)
The Constellations (Atlanta GA)
Contra Coup (Austin TX)
Cotton Jones (Cumberland MD)
The Crystal Method (Los Angeles CA)
David Dallas (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Dappled Cities (Sydney NSW)
Daveman (Berlin GERMANY)
The Daylights (Los Angeles CA)
The dB's (Chapel Hill NC)
Dead Sexy Inc (Paris FRANCE)
The Deaf (The Hague THE NETHERLANDS)
Deer Tick (Providence RI)
Delhi 2 Dublin (Vancouver BC)
Paul Dempsey (from "Something for Kate") (Melbourne NSW)
Diplomats of Solid Sound (Iowa City IA)
DJ Car Stereo (Wars) (Austin TX)
DJ Evil Dee (Brooklyn NY)
DJ Revolution (Los Angeles CA)
Daniel Francis Doyle (Austin TX)
Adiam Dymott (Goteborg SWEDEN)
The 88 (Los Angeles CA)
Electric Electric (Strasbourg FRANCE)
Val Emmich (Jersey City NJ)
Eternia (Toronto ON)
Everything Everything (Manchester UK-WALES)
Fanfarlo (London UK-ENGLAND)

Michael Feinberg (New York NY)
Fergus & Geronimo (Westway TX)
Fighting With Wire (Derry IRELAND)
FINALE (Detroit MI)
Floating Action (Asheville NC)
Francis (Borlange SWEDEN)
Robert Francis (Los Angeles CA)
Frightened Rabbit (Selkirk UK-SCOTLAND)
The Funeral Pyre (Los Angeles CA)
The Ganjas (Santiago CHILE)
Geeks (Tokyo JAPAN)
Gerald G (Austin TX)
Colin Gilmore (Austin TX)
Giulia y los Tellarini (Barcelona SPAIN)
Rosi Golan (New York NY)
Gong Myoung (Seoul KOREA)
Goober and the Peas (Detroit MI)
Good Shoes (London UK-ENGLAND)
Guitar Shorty (Harlingen TX)
Ha Ha Tonka (Springfield MO)
Halves (Dublin IRELAND)
Darren Hanlon (Sydney NSW)
Harlem (Austin TX)
Headdress (Austin TX)
Hey Colossus (London UK-ENGLAND)
Robyn Hitchcock (London CA)
Hot Panda (Edmonton AB)
The Hounds Below (Detroit MI)
I Fight Dragons (Chicago IL)
The Intelligence (Seattle WA)
Ivan & Alyosha (Seattle WA)
Japandroids (Vancouver BC)
Jazz One (Austin TX)
Stephen Jerzak (La Crosse WI)
John Dear Mowing Club (Den Haag THE NETHERLANDS)
The Jim Jones Revue (London UK-ENGLAND)
Jookabox (Indianapolis IN)
Julia Says (Sao Paulo BRAZIL)
Karnivool (Perth WA)
Kartick & Gotam (Chennai INDIA)
Kidz In Space (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Kidz In The Hall (Chicago IL)
Kingston (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Maurice Kirya (Kampala ZIMBABWE)
The Kissaway Trail (Odense DENMARK)
L.A.B. (Novo Hamburgo BRAZIL)
The Law (Dundee UK-SCOTLAND)
Vander Lee (Belo Horizonte BRAZIL)
Unni Lovlid (Oslo NORWAY)
Lowood (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Audra Mae (Los Angeles CA)
Malente (Essen GERMANY)
Natalia Mallo (Sao Paulo BRAZIL)
Mantles (San Francisco CA)
Julia Marcell (Berlin GERMANY)
Marco Polo & Torae (Brooklyn NY)
Mariachi El Bronx (Los Angeles CA)
Carolyn Mark (Victoria BC)
Maruosa (Tokyo JAPAN)
MegaRex (Sao Paulo BRAZIL)
The Middle East (Townsville QLD)
Middle Finger Salute (Blackburn UK-ENGLAND)
Miniature Tigers (Phoenix AZ)
Mixtapes & Cellmates (Stockholm SWEDEN)
Monarchs (Austin TX)
Michael Monroe (Helsinki FINLAND)
PJ Morton (Conyers GA)
Mountain Man (Bennington VT)
Movits! (Lulea SWEDEN)
Moxine (Sao Paulo BRAZIL)
Mr Sicc (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Mumiy Troll (Los Angeles CA)
My Dad is Dead (Chapel Hill NC)
Nailpin (Boom BELGIUM)
Nakia & His Southern Cousins (Austin TX)
9th Wonder (Raleigh-Durham NC)
The Novas (Dallas TX)
Jackie Oates (Exeter UK-ENGLAND)
One Night Only (Helmsley UK-ENGLAND)
1001 Nights Orchestra (Austin TX)
The Pack A.D. (Vancouver BC)
Paleo (Brooklyn NY)
Parlovr (Montreal QC)
Past Lives (Seattle WA)
The Peelies (Montreal QC)
Julie Peel (Montreal QC)
Mandi Perkins (Los Angeles CA)
Peter Wolf Crier (Minneapolis MN)
Pink Nasty (Austin TX)
P.K. 14 (Beijing CHINA)
Plants and Animals (Montreal QC)
Please The Trees (Prague CZECH REPUBLIC)
Steve Poltz (San Diego CA)
Andy Pratt (Amesbury MA)
Sean Price (Brooklyn NY)
Princeton (Eagle Rock CA)
Profetas (COLOMBIA)
Psalm One (Chicago IL)
Quantic and his Combo Barbaro (Cali COLOMBIA)
Random Axe (Brooklyn NY)
Rebelle (Den Haag THE NETHERLANDS)
Red Mass (Montreal QC)
Tommy Reilly (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Riverboat Gamblers (Austin TX)
The River Raid (Recife BRAZIL)
Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (Brooklyn NY)
Brisa Roche (Paris FRANCE)
Rock of Heltah Skeltah (Brooklyn NY)
Rogues (London UK-ENGLAND)

Ruste Juxx (Brooklyn NY)
San Saba County (Austin TX)
Scanners (London UK-ENGLAND)
Kate Schutt (Guelph ON)
Serious Sam Barrett (Leeds UK-ENGLAND)
Shit And Shine (London UK-ENGLAND)
Sixteen Deluxe (Austin TX)
Skyzoo (Brooklyn NY)
Small Black (Brooklyn NY)
Smif N Wessun (Brooklyn NY)
Smoosh (Seattle WA)
So Cow (Tuam IRELAND)
Solid Gold (Minneapolis MN)
Soulico (Tel Aviv ISRAEL)
The Spring Standards (New York NY)
Sabrina Starke (Amsterdam THE NETHERLANDS)
Steel Train (Teaneck NJ)
StereoHeroes (Les Gorguettes FRANCE)
Surrounded (Malmo SWEDEN)
Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter (Seattle WA)
M. Takara 3 (Guarulhos BRAZIL)
Team Facelift (New York NY)
Thunder Power (Omaha NE)
Timber Timbre (Toronto ON)
Todd (London UK-ENGLAND)
Marques Toliver (London UK-ENGLAND)
Toolshed (London ON)
Trembling Bells (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Trespassers William (Seattle WA)
Twin Atlantic (Glasgow UK-SCOTLAND)
Two Star Symphony (Houston TX)
Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights (Dallas TX)
The Uglysuit (Oklahoma City OK)
Uncle Lucius (Austin TX)
The View (Dundee UK-SCOTLAND)
Volovan (Monterrey MEXICO)
Waco Brothers (Chicago IL)
Miho Wada (Auckland NEW ZEALAND)
Warpaint (Los Angeles CA)
Wave Machines (Liverpool UK-ENGLAND)
The Wave Pictures (London UK-ENGLAND)
We Are Scientists (New York NY)
We Are Wolves (Montreal QC)
Withered (Atlanta GA)
Wolf Gang (London UK-ENGLAND)
XV (Wichita KS)
The Yellow Dogs (Tehran IRAN)
YellowFever (Austin TX)
Zlam Dunk (San Marcos TX)
Zona Tango (Buenos Aires ARGENTINA)

*Information subject to change*

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Golden Archipelego

Texas five-piece Shearwater have announced they will return next year with a new album The Golden Archipelego on Matador Records February 23rd, 2010.

The new record is the third part of a trio of acclaimed records that includes 2006’s enigmatic Palo Santo and 2008’s stellar Rook.

Here’s a trailer for the upcoming 2010 release.

Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago from KMS on Vimeo.

To coincide with the release of The Golden Archipelago, Shearwater will embark on a European tour in 2010.

Shearwater European tour (UK dates in bold):


17th – Melkweg, Amsterdam
18th – Botanique, Brussels
19th – Le Nouveau Casino, Paris
20th – La Route du Rock winter edition @ L’Omnibus, Saint-Malo
21st – The Freebutt, Brighton
22nd – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
23rd – Captain’s Rest, Glasgow
25th – Scala, London
26th – 4AD, Diksmuide
27th – Knust, Hamburg
28th – Magnet, Berlin


2nd – Rote Sonne, Munich
3rd – L’Usine (PTR), Geneva
4th – Nouveau Monde, Fribourg
5th – La Casa 139, Milan
7th – La (2) de Apolo, Barcelona
8th – Moby Dick, Madrid

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Heard Today

Borrowing heavily from the Smokey Robinson penned classic, “My Guy”, this atmospheric number by L.A.’s Warpaint has been stuck in my head this weekend.

Now I’m not really sure what this song has to do with the “Lady in Satin” but I certainly like what I hear and I’m pretty sure you will too. Psublime and pslightly psychedelic this is 'The Most Amazing Thing I’ve Heard Today'.

Warpaint is: Jenny Lee Lindberg- bass, vocals  Theresa Wayman – vocals, guitar, keys Emily Kokal - vocals, guitar.  Rough Trade Records will oversee the band’s first full-length album, which is set for a 2010 release.

Here Come the Waves

One of my favourite releases of 2009 was The Decemberists richly textured fifth album, The Hazards of Love. News today that the band have commissioned a full-length animated version of that album; Entitled Here Come the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized the piece will be available for download from iTunes as of December 1st.

Interested in seeing what this project will look like. Have a look at the trailer below.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Basia Bulat Announces Winter Canadian Tour

With her sophomore album on the way in January and a new US Subaru advertisement featuring one of her songs. Basia Bulat’s star is definitely ascending. It follows naturally then that the talented singer songwriter (and my secret rock n’ roll girlfriend) has now revealed that she’s set to embark on a cross-country Canadian tour starting in February. With a few dates preceding it in Montreal and Toronto, this one is definitely going to be a hot ticket.

As previously reported, Bulat’s upcoming second release, Heart of My Own will be released via Secretly Canadian on January 26th.

An exciting performer to witness, this is one show you should not miss.

Tour dates:

12-16 Montreal, QC - Metropolis Theatre
1-16 Toronto, ON - Trinity St.Paul's United Church
2-2 Kingston, ON - Sydenham Street United Church
2-4 London, On - The Aeolian Hall
2-5 Orillia, ON - Highwayman Inn and Conference
2-6 Guelph, ON - Hillside Inside at the Sleeman Centre
2-7 Hamilton, ON - The Casbah
2-10 Halifax, NS - St. Matthews United Church
2-12 Montreal, QC - L'Astral
2-13 Ottawa, ON - First Baptish Church
2-25 Winnipeg, MB - West End Cultural Centre
2- 27 Saskatoon, SK - Amigo's
3-2 Calgary, AB - Central United Church
3-3 Edmonton, AB - Starlite Room
3-5 Vancouver, BC - St. James Hall

Velvet Underground Members Reuniting at New York Library

Brian Eno once famously observed that "everyone who bought a Velvets record went on to form a band" (or write about them). Strangely he’s probably right. In the historic ferment of pop music, the Velvet Underground were the archetypal band in the Big Apple, at precisely the right time. Their influence has been and remains huge on all forms of popular music and culture. Sadly though, it’s not very often that the three remaining members get together. Exceptional news today these legends will in fact reunite for an appearance at the New York Public Library on Tuesday December 8th, where they will discuss their careers with journalist David Fricke.

The discussion will be part of the Live from the NYPL series, and tickets are available priced at $25. Tickets can be purchased buy through the NYPL website. The discussion coincides with the publication of the photograph and artwork collection, The Velvet Underground: New York Art

For five years – 1965 to 1970 – singer-songwriter and guitarist Lou Reed, bassist and viola player John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker, with the German vocalist Nico and bassist Doug Yule (who replaced Cale in 1968), broadcast the real life of their home town – the sex, drugs and art; the furious street energies, hidden pleasures and desperate romance – in an unprecedented pop music of vivid storytelling and transgressive excitement.

On stage and on their four influential studio albums, the Velvets invented the many futures of rock – punk, drone, free improvisation, lyric candor – in songs and performances that made the group notorious, with the pivotal help of their early manager and mentor, Andy Warhol. Legendary status came later, after the group broke up and Reed and Cale went on to bold prolific solo careers.
This is so very tempting. A once in a lifetime opportunity, anyone up for a pre-Christmas road trip?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just What Do You Buy A Seven Year Old For Their Birthday?

Paper Bag Records will celebrate its seventh birthday this year. To celebrate this achievement, the label's impressive roster of musicians has released a birthday loot bag of sorts in the guise of a free covers album as a gift to their fans.

So despite the lack of clowns and bouncy castles, this collection features Winter Gloves, Slim Twig and Laura Barrett among other Paper Bag artists. The covers range from Josh Reichmann's version of Bat for Lashes' "Daniel", Woodhands' rendition of Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" and even the Acorn’s version of Gowan’s "Strange Animal".

So Happy Birthday Paper Bag Records! You’ve come a long way since that little record by Broken Social Scene, You Forgot It in People put you on the proverbial label map. Here’s to the next seven years Paper Bag!

The album is available free of charge here.

Paper Bag will officially celebrate its birthday this Friday (Nov. 20) in Toronto at the Phoenix Concert Theatre with You Say Party! We Say Die! and Little Girls.

Here's what's on The Seven Year Itch:

CFCF - "How Bizarre" (OMC)
Winter Gloves - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nirvana)
Woodhands - "Electric Avenue" (Eddy Grant)
Sally Shapiro -  "Dying in Africa" (Nicolas Makelberge)
You Say Party! We Say Die! - "Falling Out" (Rick Agnew)
Josh Reichmann -  "Daniel" (Bat For Lashes)
Laura Barrett  - "Gamma Ray" (Beck)
Rock Plaza Central — "I Want You" (Bob Dylan)
The Acorn -  "Strange Animal" (Gowan)
Little Girls -  "Heinz" (Artery)
Slim Twig -  "Behold A Lady" (Outkast)
Under Byen -  "Du er min ojesten" (Peter Malberg)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Jack White Set to Produce Wanda Jackson’s New Album

The “hardest working man” in show business, Jack White is collaborating with “hard headed woman” and “Queen of Rockabilly” Wanda Jackson.

The Oklahoman reports that Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Jackson is set to record a new album with White at the producer’s helm. They will first record a single for digital release before completing an album.

You may recall that in 2004 White successfully collaborated with country music legend Loretta Lynn on her excellent album Van Lear Rose. The recording that may just have been the catalyst for this artistic pairing.

“They had a super album, but he didn’t have her do anything different, you know,” Jackson said of White’s work with Loretta Lynn. “She just did her little Loretta Lynn songs. But he told me he’s gonna stretch me some, so we’ll see. We’ll talk later.”
Queen Wanda already has experience working with a variety of artists outside her country and rockabilly realm; in 2003, for her album Heart Trouble, she was joined by the likes of Elvis Costello, Lee Rocker and the Cramps.

A true legend, Jackson is about to draw a lot of new fans to her fold. Much like he did with Loretta Lynn; The 34-year-old White has the ability to introduce an entirely new audience of music fans to Jackson who might have not had the pleasure to hear such a talented and influential artist.

The 72-year-old Jackson, who was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, started out singing rockabilly in the 1950s on the advice of her mentor and one-time boyfriend, Elvis Presley.

Have a look if you are unfamiliar with Wanda Jackson. You will understand immediately just why this particular pairing is so inspired.